Monday, February 4, 2008

What The Hell Happened To: Erik Kramer

Great protection, but why is he throwing it the other way?

Love him or hate him, Kramer is the last QB the Bears really got to enjoy before the dark ages (McNown, Matthews...etc), and we really didn't give him a lot of credit for being a great QB. Kramer had something we didn't get until Grossman came along -- balls. Back in Detroit, on his very first series (replacing the injured Rodney Peete), Kramer called an audible. His teammates called him "Brass Balls" because of it.

Fast forward to 1995, and Kramer is topping 3,000 yards in a season, and breaking Sid Luckman's team record for TDs in a season (Kramer threw 29). Kramer was never really an all-star, but he was a solid QB who was usually good -- and sometimes even great. He ran into some injury troubles in 1996, and was mostly hurt for the next three seasons (even though he topped 3,000 yards again). After the decision to head down the slippery slope that was Cade McNown, Kramer was released by the Bears after the 1998 season.

What the hell happened to Erik Kramer?

Kramer signed with the Chargers after his release by the Bears, but retired after six games with neck problems. He played his last game in 1999, and spent the rest of the year planning for his next big move: The Erik Kramer Passing Camp. Set up in sunny California, Kramer spent 2000-2004 teaching kids and adults the fine art of throwing things. Really hard. And then hurting your neck.

I somehow get the feeling the Kramer didn't really take this project seriously. I mean, on EVERY PAGE OF THE WEBSITE, his name is misspelled as "Erik Krammer" (look at the top bar of the webpage). Not only that, but when you look at the schedule, the passing camp is only for eight days of the entire year -- not exactly a tough regimen. Kramer spent the years giving fantasy advice in the occasional Fox Sports Net columns (2003), but not much else.

Lucky for Kramer, he got his big break in 2005 when UPN-50 (the POWER 50) decided to give him a shot as an analyst for Lions games. They were, after all, his former team. He has since remained at FSN Detroit providing preseason Lions coverage (but strangely, not in-game or regular season coverage) and also provides fantasy football outlooks alongside NFL great Warren Moon.

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